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The Assassination of 
Abraham Lincoln 

Deathbed Accounts 

Excerpts from newspapers and other 


From the files of the 
Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection 

~> l ■>/■,.<? _Oz- ... .ir 

DkhONSTBAtiOH at Gkoton Jvnctio*. We 
l.avo ti lU'tailcd u^coont of ft public meeting ;h< Id 
at Grotou Junction on Saturday afternoon to no- 
tice in uu appropriate manner tuc President 's 
death, but luive uot room to publish it.'TJusinrs.s 
» aa suspended aud the whole people united in the 
-ud *crviees. lienj. F. Feleb presided and made a | 
brief address. Rev.Mr. Skinner, Mr. Gerrishol \ 
Shirley and sensral others spoke, and un appropii- j 
ate series of resolutions were adopted. j 

i One ot two men who had rejoiced at the Presi- 
dent's death vrere made to rccaut and to asU the 
forgiveness ot the public. 



Deathbed of Lincoln 


Sec ue at Lincoln 'a Deathbed. 

Tbe Urst Hoor of the house where Mr. 
Lincoln had just been carried was com* 
poeed of three lutui, opening on tbe aame 
corridor. It wtus in tbe third, a email 
room, that the dying man lay. 

His face, lighted by a gas jet, under 
which the b( (1 bad been moved, was pale 
and livid. His body had already the 
rigidity of death. At intervals ouly the 
still audible s mni of bis breatbiag ooald 
be faintly heaid. and at intervals again it 
would be lost entirely. The surgeons did 
nut cnici c ;iu hope that he mi^ht reoover 
a niomrut's couselansuess. Judge Will- 
iam T. Oito, a thirty years' friend of Mr. 
Lincoln's, was standing at the bedside, 
holding bis band; around the bed stood, 
also, the Attorney General, Mr. Speed, 
and tbe ltev. Mr. Gumey, past >r of the 
cburoh Mr. Linoolu usually attended, 

Leaning against the wall stood Mr. 
Stanton, who gazed now and then at tbe 
dying man's face, ac* who seemed over- 
whelmed with emotion. From time to 
time be wrote telegrams, or cave the or- 
ders which, in the midst of the crisis, as- 
sured tbe preservation of p-sace. The re- 
maiuing members of tbe Cabinet, and 
suvcral senators aud generals, were pacing 
up aud dorn tbe corridor. Thus the 
Light passed on. At last, toward seven 
o'clock in tbe mcruiug, tbe surgeon an- 
nounced that death was at hand, and at 
twenty minutes aflur sevea the pulse 
osaseu beating. 

Etery one present seemed theu tt> 
oojergo from a stupor iu which the hours 
of m^IiL bad been spent. Mr. Btanton 
app.oaehed the bed, closed Mr. Llnooln's 
ejes, and, drawing the sheet ever the 
dead mau'a head, utteied thc^.e words, iu 
a vtiy low voioe : "Lie is a maa fur the 
sg-s." — Ser ibncr't Magazine. 

Scene at tlio UeuiliBed of Mr. Lincoln 

At Carlisle, Pa., recently, the Presbyteri 
an Synods of the old and new schools being 

in session ai the same- place, the two bod 
les met in communion with «ieai harmony; 
Rev. Dr. Gurley, pastor of the church in 
Washington which President Lincoln usu- 
ally attended, in a speech at the table 
gave the following narrative, which has 
uevrr before been made public: 

AVhen summoned on that sad night to 
the death-bed of President Lincoln, I en- 
tered the room fifteen or twenty minutes 
before his departure. All present was 
gathered anxiously around him, waiting to 
catch his last breath. The physician, with 
one hand upon the pulse of the dying man 
and the other hand laid upon his°heart' 
was inteutly watching forth* moment when 
life should cease. 

He lingered longer than we had expect 
ed. At last the physician said :— "He 
gone ; he is dead." 

Theu I solemnly believe that for four > 
five minutes there was not the slightest 
noise or movement in that awful presence ' 
We all stood transfixed in our positions, 
speechless, breathless, around the dead 
body ot that great and good man. 

At length the Secretary of war, who was 
standing at my left, broke the silence and ■ 
said, "Doctor, will you say anything?" 1 
replied, "I will speak to God." Said he, 
"Do it just now-" 

And there, by the side of our fallen chief 
God put it into my heart to utter this peti- 
tion, that from I hat hour we and the whole 
Nation might become more than ever unit- 
ed in our devotion to the cause of oar be- 
loved, imperilled country. 

When I ceased, there arose from the lips 
8i the entire company a fervid and spen 
tuneous "Amen !" 

And has not the whole heart of the loyal 
Nation responded "Amen!" 

Was not that prayer, there offered, re- 
sponded to in a most remarkable manner ? 
When in our history have the people of 
this land been found more closely bound to 
gether in purpose and heart than when the 
telegraphic wires bore all over the country 
the sad tidings that President Lincoln was 


before him he declared that there was no other trans- 
lator in England of one tenth her ability. 

Her best life was so ungrudgingly given to others, 
and her modesty was so refreshingly feminine, that 
Mrs. Austin, either as authoress or as woman, is almost 
unknown to the new generations. And yet, aside from 
her peerless juridical labors, she deserves to be well 
known by her latter-day sisters, if for no other reason 
than as a possible ideal for the newer womanhood. 

Sylvia R. Hemliey. 

At the Death-bed of Lincoln. 

In The CENTURY for June, 1800, and February, 1893, 
were published letters bearing upon the question of who 
were present at the bedside of President Lincoln when 
Surgeon-General Barnes, who held the pulse of the dying 
chief, announced his death at 7:22 a.m. Partly in the 
interest of the truth and partly as a matter of family 
pride, I wish to add two names hitherto omitted by The 
CENTURY. The names are Richard J. Oglesby, then gov- 
ernor of Illinois, and General Isham N. Haynie, both of 
Springfield, Illinois, and both warm personal friends of 
Mr. Lincoln. In a letter written to me by Governor 
Oglesby he describes the events of that terrible night, 
and the scene at the bedside as Secretary Stanton broke 
the silence by saying, « Now he belongs to the ages." 

General Haynie's diary also lies before me, and per- 
haps I may be justified in quoting a passage which pic- 
tures Mr. Lincoln only four hours before his assassina- 
tion. Under April 14, 18G5, General Haynie wrote: 

At five o'clock ibis afternoon Governor Oglesby and 
I called ar the White House. .Mr. Lincoln was not in, 
hut just as we were going away his carriage, with lii iii- 
selt', wife, and Tail, drove up. Tlie President called us 
back. We went up into bis reception-room and had a 
pleasant, humorous hour with him. He read four chap- 
ters of Petroleum V. Nasby's book (recently published) 
to us. and continued reading until lie was called to din- 
ner at about six o'clock, when we left him. 

The above was written sometime between six and ten 
o'clock, before General Haynie had heard of the fatal 
shooting. During that little call Mr. Lincoln was in a 
specially merry mood. He laughed heartily over Nasby's 
hook, and told his friends of his intention of going to 
see Laura Keene at the theater that evening. He, in 
fact, urged Governor Oglesby and General Haynie to 
accompany him, but a business engagement prevented. 

The diary continues: 

At 11 p. m. Governor Oglesby and myself were ad- 
mitted to the room where the President lay dying. Re- 
mained until alter the President bail passed away. He 
died at 7. 'J'-' A. M. to-day. Tlie excitement baffles des- 
cription. The horrors of last night have no parallel in 
memory or history. The cabinet all surrounded the 
dying chief; General Meigs, General Halleck, General 
Hardie. Colonel Vincent, Rev. Dr. Qurley — all present. 
The Secretary of War was busy all night preparing and 
sending despatches; Surgeon-General Harms holding 

the President's arm, feeling his pulse: tlie Cabinet 

seated around, ami some standing ; ( ioveinor Oglesby 

at tlie head of the bed, and myself near the door. The 
President lay with his feet to the west, his head to the 
east; insensible; in comatose state ; never I spoke. 

The two friends accompanied the body of the beloved 
President on its last journey to Illinois. They were a 
part of the delegation appointed by his native State. 
General Haynie drafted the resolutions of the citizens 
of Illinois who met at the National Hotel in Washing- 


ton to take steps relative to the death of Mr. Lincoln. 
To Governor Oglesby more than to any other one man 
is due the fact that the martyred Lincoln sleeps to- 
day on the green slopes of Oak Ridge in the beautiful 
city he loved so well. The nation and the national 
capital claimed his remains, but Governor Oglesby in- 
sisted that they belonged by right to Illinois. 

Edwin C. Haynie. 







»-i:«s HERE arc but four persons living 
who were at the bedside of Presi- 
dent Lincoln when he died, a few 
minutes after 7 o'clock on the 
morning of April 15, I860, says the 
Washington Star. These are Secretary 
John Hay, who was one of the President's 
private secretaries; Col. Hubert T. Lin- 
coln, the President's oldest son; Dr. Leal 
of New York, who was a surgeon in the 
acm> at the time, and Mr. H. S. Safford 
of Springfield, Mass. All of the distin- 
guished group about the bedside, includ- 
ing Secretary Stanton, Senator Sumner 
and many others, have passed away. Mr. 
Safford was an employe of the ordnance 
department of the army and lived at the 
house, lie is at present living in Spring- 
field, Mass., and in describing the scenes 
at the time of the President's assassina- 
tion and death said: 

"About 10 o'clock, hearing an unusual 
commotion in front of the house where 1 
was, I went to the window and saw the 
audience pouring out or tne theater, panic 
stricken. When the bearers of the Presi- 
dent had brought him nearly across the 
street some one said 'Where can we take 
him?' There was no response, and I 
shouted 'Bring him in here.' The Presi- 
de ut was carried into the house, where 
he died. 

"Whoever said anything. reflecting up- 
on Mrs. Lincoln's love for her husband 
would not have done so had he witnessed 
the scenes of that night. She was de- 
tained at the theater after the President 
was taken out. on account of her ner- 

vous condition, and when she reached 
the house she cried frantically: 'Waoro 
is my dear husband? Where is he; where I 
is he?' Though Mrs. Lincoln had prom-j 
ised to be calm while in the room, she, 
gave way to her anguish and was drag-; 
Ked from the bedside of the sinking ( 
President by main force. I 

"That night many of the most famous 
men in the country passed in and out of 
the small chamber in which Lincoln lay, 
dying. Graphic pictures havo been drawn 
of the deathbed seen.- surrounded by a 
group of notables. There were, however, 
only a few present, 'those of greatest 
prominence being Charles Sumner, 
Schuyler Colfax, Attorr.oy-General lineed, 
Hugh McCollough, Secretary Stanton 
Postmaster-General Der.mson, Gideon 
Welles, Secretary of the Navy, ard Lin- 
coln's son Robert, then a beardless 

Mr. Safford has several interesting 
souvenirs. One is a piece of white lace 
torn from Mrs. Lincoln's scarf. Another 
is a lock of the President's hair, cut 
from about the wound. The mo.;t treas- 
ured relic is one of the two-cent pieces 
.-placed upon the President's eyes to 
close them. Mr. Safford said that the 
owner of the house in which President 
Lincoln died was obliged to charge a 
small admission fee to protect himself, 
and that in spite of the utmost care the 
carpet and furniture of the room was lit- 
erally hacked to pieces by patriotic van- 

Hemphill. J. C. 

By J. C. Hemphill. 

IT in for us, the living, to highly re- 
solve that Government of the people, 
by the people, for tho people shall 
not perish from the. earth. 

This Is the message that comes down to 
this generation from the blood-stained 
heights of Gettysburg since they were 
BpoUcii from that mountain, top nearly 
fifty years ago. The voice by which they 
Were spoken has been still this many a 
Weary year; but the message stands. Of 
hltn muy bo said what he himself Baid 
of Washington In a birthday address to 
the Springfield Washlngtbnlan Temper- 
ance Society in 1S1J: 

On that name a eulogy Is expected,. It 
cannot be To add brightness to the 
tun, or glory to '.he name of Washing* 
toil Is alike impossible. Let n me attempt 
it. in solemn awe pronounce the name, 
and in Its n-.Ued, deathless splendor 
' leave it shining on. 

AT 20 minutes past 10 o'clock Fri- 
day evening, April 14, 1805, 
Abraham Lincoln was shot by 
.John Wilkes b'ooth in the back 
of the head behind the left ear and 
mortally Injured. At 22 minutes 
pa; 7 o'clock the next morning, Sat- 
xmiay. April 15, 1805, he died. No 
bloodiei deed is recorded in the files 
of time. No people have ever paid so 
dearly as the Southern people for this 
atrocious act of u madman in no sense 
affiliated with them in sentiment or 

All this happened marly forty-eight 
years a^o There have been many and 
vast changes since that fateful day, 
ami the prayer which Lincoln prayed 
that the country might be one again 
lias been answered in a way that would 
have rejoiced his great heart. Not an 
anniversary of his birth ami death has 
passed since Ids cruel taking off en 
Which some tribute lias not been paid 
to his memory, and so it will be to tho 
end of time among generous Amer- 
icuns, wherever their residence or in- 
herited sentiments; for however ho 
may have been misjudged in the con- 
fusion and stress of antagonistic opin- 
ion, there are none so Bourbon now 
who do not praise him for his courage 
and his faithfulness to his honest con- 

Had he lived until next Wednesday 
Mr. Lincoln would have been 104 years 
of age. He was born in Kentucky 
Feb. 12, 1800, and died in Washington 
April 15, 1M15, in his fifty-seventh 
year at the very zenith of his powers. 
Ilia life and death are commemorated 
by Tin; Ni;\v YORK Times to-day, as 
loyal now to his memory as it was 

' ' 

zealous in the cause lor which he dieob 
nearly half a century ago. 

The books are full of the story of 
his life and work, but there ure still 
many interesting facts connected with 
him that have not yet been noted, 
notwithstanding the Industry of thoso 
v, ho have collected great masses of 
everything they could find in any way 
connected with his life and death. 

Mr. Lincoln, as every one knows, 
was shot by Booth while lie was at- 
tending a thoatrlcal performance at 
Ford's Theatre in Washington. " Our 
American Cousin " held tho boards that 
night and Laura Keene was playing 
the part of Florence Trenchard for 
the last time. She had already per- 
formed the same part for a thousanOL 
nights. Five years before she hail 
played tho r61e ut McVlckar's Theatre, 
in Chicago the night of the day on 
which Mr. Lincoln was nominated for 
President by the Republican Conven- 
tion, in May, I860, and all unconscious 
of the terrible tragedy, she played with 
uncommon cleverness, and while yet 
the theatre was ringing with laughter. 
and applause, came the crack of the 

| pistol shot from the President's box, 

| that plunged the country into mourn- i 

\ iug- 

After Mr. Lincoln had been shot he| 
was removed across the street from ! 
the theatre to the residence of William 
Petersen, a highly respected merchant 
tailor, who lived directly opposite the, 
playhouse, at 51b' Tenth Street. This 

'house is still standing, as is also the 
old Ford Theatre, and both are now,' 
owned by the Government. There have 
been few changes in tho Petersen i 
house. It is to-day very much what 
it was tho morning Mr. Lincoln died) 
in it, and has been converted into a,' 
museum for the collection of articles 
In any way related to the President. 

For forty years Osborn H. Oldroyd 
bus been devoting himself to the as- 
sembling together of this invaluable 
collection, in which are included more 
than three thousand relics,' which con- 
stitute, as Elizabeth Porter Gould has 
said, " one of the most Interesting and 
valuable ever collected in behalf of 
a human being." The collection con- 1 
tains two hundred and fifty funeral i 
sermons, about seventy pieces of music, j 
a thousand volumes relating to Lin-1 
coin, three hundred portraits, bust;-, 
and medals, photographs of Booth, pict- 
ures of the assassination, the family 
cradle in which tho Lincoln children 
wcro rocked, an original black locust 
rail split by the young nun, then never 
dreaming of the place he was to till 
In tho history of the world; the family 
Bible t'n.m which Lincoln's mother 
read to him when ho was a boy, and 
literally thousands of other things in 
some sort associated with the mur- 


dcred ['retident. 

Twi nty-elgmj ycam ago Frank Car- 
penter wrote for the American Press i 
Association a thrilling story of some 
gruesome reminders of the assassina- 
tion of Mr. Lincoln. They wore in the 
possession of Fred Petersen, the son 
of William Petersen, In whose kpuae 

Mr. Lincoln died. Thtse relics h 

two plain pillow cases stained with 

blood and clotted with brains and 
a blood-stained QUilt originally a 
beuutlf-.l piece of Irish worsted work, 
"tiie colors of which, strange to any. 

Were rod, white and blue." At the 

tin)'; of Mr. Lincoln's assassination, 
Petersen v...-; 10 years of a «, and lie 
told this tiory: 

•■ i in •_•),.. pillow case President l-in- 
colj) la;, wnen to was first brought In, 
but U soon necamo saturated w ih 
blood. ..iid Secretary Stanton asked me 
for another. I brought him this (tak-j 
lng up the second pillow case), and on' 
this he died. The scenes are fresh now 

BS i'" lie; hid huppened but yesterday. 
1 i\as :! home for my ICaster vacatlqn,! 
I and my father lived in the brick house 
| just opposite Ford's Theatre. This 
I theatre was then the leading one of 
| Washington, and a bo?: was always re- 
| served for Lincoln. I was well ac- 
' quainted with the theatre people, and 
I i knew the ins and outs well. Lln- 
' coin attended the theatre often, and 
' he was surpris d one time to see youn 
Tad on the stage, dressed up to repre- 
sent of the minor characters. Ha did 
not know him at first, . uls actions 
seemed strangely familiar, and when 
! he saw who it was lie DUVBt into a ha- 
ll l which called the attention of the' 
house to ills box. t 

•' I knew Wilkes Bootl} very well, ana 
he sometimes slept at our house. HP 
was a tall, well-made >omg fellow. 
and ho had large olack eyes and 
luxuriant black hair. He w. i ■■ nerv- 
ous, erratic, strange man; and It Is a 
curious th.v.g that he slept I » a week before this deed WM 

done, and under this same coverlid 
upon which Lincoln dl< d. 

••The assassination, you know, oc-l 
[curred on the night of the Wth of 
April and I saw Booth lhal morning 
1 riding u little sorrel mare down P< : 
sylvaula Avenue, it was not far of! 
■ from Willard-s Hotel that 1 saw hinl. 
and I was then on my way to play 
j b ill on the grounds just below the 
White House. Winn tho game «;, 5 
I ,Vor I wenl horn • and had supper. 
I AJJtci supper I wenl to th, th atre. 
', but l did not go to Ford's, as I had 
| Often seen the ' American OoUBin, 
but I went to anoth-r theatre, where 
•Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp' 
was being played. 

•• vs 1 started out to go to the the- 
atre I saw the President's carriage 
drive up to Ford's, and President L 
co l n iu ,d some other gentlemen and 
ladies got out. After I had been at 
The theatre but a short time the man- 
ager came to the front of the stage 
and said that the performance bad to 
slop, as the President had been shot 
at Ford's. Tlw crowd made a rush for 

J (^ Hcynp"' " 

iiws had 
e walilc 1 1 
• was at j 

o nrl HI ' J 

the door.-*, ami l tried io go home. 

'* As I reached the corner of Tenth 
find E Streets, a block away from the, 
theatre, I heard some men gathered^ 
around a follow whom they had caught \ 
hold of, and yelling) 'Hang lnm.' 
bang him!' They were standing 
under a sycamore tree, and one of 
them suggested that it was a good 
place to string him up. The wretch 
was a poor fellow who had nothing to I 
do with the assassination, but whom i 
they suspected. I pushed my way past , 
these men and finally got to the door ■ 
of my father's house. Two soldiers J 
were in front of it. I tried to pass] 
them, but they said: ' You ean't go! 
in. The President is lying in there.' 
1 ' nut I live' here,' I replied. 
1 ' That makes no difference, you '• 
can't go in," returned the soldiers. | 

"'1 will tiro if I can't get in:' i 
muttered to myself as I slipped around 
, to a shutter which I knew could be 
I opened, and climbed into tin window. , : 
The first man I met was my ftithvl'. j 
i and he told me the President was lying 
, in the room the actor Matth ews h i I 
j formerly occupied, and that ht 
; me to help him. My sister 
school at Bethlehem, Penn., and m 
mother was there with her. So 1 was 
practically alone with my father." 

" Did Lincoln die in the room into 

which he was first carried?" 

"Yes, but this room has not been' 

'well represented in *he pictures of the 

scene. It was a small, narrow room 

in the rear of the house and just at 

i the end of the entrance hall. It was 

about 10 ieet wide and 15 feet long, j 
j It was very plainly furnished, and the 
walla were covered with brown and J 
White stripes of paper running up and 
down froi- the floor to the celling 
I Some engravings and photograph j 
i were hanging on the wall, [here .v.r. j 
Petersen pointed to some cheap pic* 
lures upon the walls of his room where 
we were sitting,) and these pictures 
were among them. The furniture ot 
the room was very simple. There was. 
merely a bureau, a little black walnujM 
bedstead, and a few chairs. 

""When I came in tin; President w;:a 
lying on the bed. His face l.iokcd 
' ghastly, and the blood Was still flow- 
ing from his wound upo • the piilows. 
| The blood flowed fast and the pillows) 
I were saturated. A J-umber of he Cab-j 
linet inc uding Edv»n Stanton, Solmonj 
P. Chase, Seere:ary Weils, and others,! 
I stood beside the bed. and several doc ! 
! tors were present. Charles Sumner .--at 
on the bed ' Holding the President'^ 
i hand, and sobbed like a child. There 
'were tears in the eyes of nearly every 
man present, and now and then they 
tried to speak with the President. Bui 
he was unconscious. He lay Willi Lis 
bead on this p illow, and bis eyes, ailj 
j blood shot, almost protrud'ed'from their , 
'sockets. His face twitched, and it 1 
■looked as though be was trying to j 
speak, but I suppose the action of bis 
features was involuntary." 

"Was Mrs. Lincoln present'.'" 33 
■ asked. 

""No, ..l this time she was in an ad- 
joining room, and Robert was there 
trying to comfort her. She was sob- 
bing and crying, and during that night. 


she came now mid Hien to the bed, 
und burst into a flood of tears, and : 
then Went away, sobbing, into the oilier 
room. The doctors wanted f.omo hot 
water and battles, and asked mo. to get 
them for them. Wo had :i hot 'ire 
in the kitchen, and I had the cook put 
the hot water in the bottles and bring 
them in. The doctors then placed them 
about the body of the President, rub- 
bing his limbs all the time to keep tho 
blood in circulation. I helped them, 
and stood at the foot of the bed, rub- 
bing ins right leg. At this time all 
hope had not been given up, but as 
the_ night wore on the prospects be- 
| came very gloomy, and the scene comes 
j before me to-night. 

" Between 3 and 4 o'clock I got very 
sleepy, and was sitting on a trunk at 
tho foot of the bed and nodding. Sec- 
retary Wells touched me and said: 
1 ' My boy, you are tired out, and you 
, had better go out and get some sleep, 
I and we will call you if we need you.' 
At this I went into the next room and 
sat down upon a rocking chair. I was 
soon sound asleep, but in a moment > 
rough hand caught my shoulder, am 
Secretary Stanton's voice said: ' Mj 
boy, this is no time to sleep, am 
you had better go in and watch.' 1 
then returned to my place, but I could 
not keep my eyes open, and I finally 
went into the back room and slept till 
i dawn. It was just light when I re- 
j turned to the death chamber. Pres- 
1 ident Lincoln was breathing so heavily 
I that you could have' heard him In any 
j part of the house..! His face was death- 
like, and his jaw had fallen down upon 
hia breast, showing his teeth. So lie 
remained until 7:22, when he died. 
" I have never seen a correct paint- 
i ing of the deathbed. A lot of cheap 
[• things were thrown upon the country 
at the time, but they were not in ae- 
ccrdauce with tho facts. Mrs. Lincoln 
is painted in these pictures as kneeling 
at tliu bedside and holding her hus- j 
bund's hand as the life went out of j 
1 is body. She was, in fact, not in tho | 
room. The Cabinet were, however, ail 
pr sent, und -all. were weepi ng. - ' Ch a/iea 
'Simmer ;w:d Robert Lincoln, st jou vo- 
Sethor and S-. mner's arm Was ..irown 
around young Roburts shoulders. Sum 
ner was crying, and young Lincoln was 

" I then, left the house and went to 
tell my father who was at his store. 
It was a na-i-.y cay. As I opened the; 
door I saw that it was drizzling, j 
cloudy, and dark. There was a guard j 
around the house, and also one sta- 
tioned on each of the corners, ubo.o 
and boiQw. I gave the first announce- 
ment of the death to them and through 
them to the outside world. I got ' 
father and when I came back the ! 
Pre* dent was all black about the eye j 
«riC forehead. I p;n my hand on ma 
race, and it was as ccld as stone. j 

"Soon after this Mr. Lincoln was 
taken from the house. His body was | 
wrapped up in a couple of blankets and i 
ca.ried to the eniba.lrncr's. It was 
then l'.M out in state in tho East Room ! 
of £?-;». White House." j 

'"'You do not own the house in which 
Pi't-fcident Lincoln died, Mr. Petersen? "I 

" Xo; all is changed now, and these' 

relics Which 1 have me the last prac 


Ueal i videm es u» ihu President's last 
Buffering*. The room in which he died 
lias been changed, and we have sold tha 
house to its present owner, Lo-ls 
Shade. We got SM.0OO for It, and tho 
buye» took It bcjausu he though'- the 
Coven. >•' n- would use H as a maseum, 
and he asked, some time ago, SjW.OUO 
•or it. These p'.o.ures and the*o pit 
low cases are all that Is left of the 
furniture We sold the bed upon -which 
the President died for $80. and 1 .nlnli 
it is now in Syracuse, N. Y. No one 
has ever slept under this covcHf. tince 
thai tasiiU and we would not Ihluk^of 
using KT I do not think it should be 
: sold to any one. It should be pro- 
I served for a museum. We could have 
I sold 1* time and again. 

" it is wonderful the desire people 
have for collecting relics o* Lincoln. 
They came for clays after 'ho Pres- 
ident's death to see the room in which 
he died, and they stole everything they 
could get their hands on They 
! snipped pieces out of Hie curtains, 
j pulled paper off of the. walls, and even 
I carried away the mustard piasters we 
' used that night. When Hie President 
I was carried over from tho theatre to 
I the house that night, some drops of 
I his blood fell upon our doorstep, and 
'the next day men and boys dipped 
' little pieces of paper into this blood 
and carried them avay us mementoes. 
" The day after the assassination 
was Sunday, and Washington was 
j draped in black, and all tho preachers 
preached funeral ser"ions over him. 

" I don't like to think of it." con- 
cluded Mr. Petersen, as he folded up 
[the, blood-stained pillow cases and 
quilt. "Tho scenes of it sorac'linc3 
haunt me like a nightmare, and I al- 
most wish that I had not been a part 
of them." 

There are other relics of the sort' 
owned by Mr. Petersen that have *ieca 
In the possession of Mr. George Rector, 
proprietor of the Rector Hotel In thia 
city, for more than forty vears. These 
relics consist of the Olood-stajred. 
pillow on which Mr. Lincoln rc-to., his 
head when he was in his deat 1 : ugo des 
and the bolster which was be»ea"h it. 
and the picture of " The Village lilacr- 
smith " which :iung over tne bed o», 
which the President lied 

When the war began Mr. Rector, 
then a lad about twenty years old, 
enlisted in the Eighth Heavy Artillery 
of New York, and for three ,ears did 
gallant service at the front. His regi- 
ment was under thj command of Col 
Peter A. Porter, ani belonged to th 
Second Brigade, LVns:o.j, Se 
.ond Corps, under tne co tun ma 
Winfield Scott Han-uuK. 

After three years at who tTont Mr, 
Rector entered the s.-rv't^e or hi Gov- 
ernment as a cle.k in tne »Va< iJepart-. 
ment at Washington, A'here he re- 
mained for two years, and djrlng this 
time ho met .vtioo LoJse Petursei, the 
eldesi jf William Petersen, 
and was marrijd io her :u Aiay, 3SG1V 
on his twenty-f:fth Dinhuav. Whei\ 
Mr. Lincoln was jhot no .vas carried, as. 
already r.Oied, »'. o.n ino .noutre to the 
Petersen V.ouse j.iu was .aid upon the 
bed in .Vifj Lo« Pei-rsen s <oom oi»| 
..ho first fioui vi .ho ouilding, where 
he died At eh j .in io sne .*;<;* absent! 
from hjine atte.uing u female seni 

J. c ' 

HI....V ... peui', IcWI,, Olid U U.I.*. 

lliua .niii a ;t chuinuor bceania tlie 

/\-H l^vvU^, -^-<X-. % 1115 

javUA'u/ fo« AoruNuiii Lincoln from 

SUl'l.T .0 jeaCctl 

ft.rii. itectpr died some years a«o, but: 
her jusouud ji-i<) preserved the/, 
precious, ;h,ugh tfiuevodHj, tejlca that,- 
cubjo Ui.j nia poaS'-ssion turough aera 
ai>il would present them lo tho (Jov- 1 
ern.uent to «(iat under ita protection 
they .iu n hi be preserved for all um»' 
ii> .•(•in.ii i .he peopiu of all coming 
generation* «>: the life that tins man' 
lhed ami the death he died. 

Thcro me jnly iliiuo persons now llv« 
.ny Wfio hnow 100 diaiory of thesa A 
relics— llr», Welnsing; who wual 
Pauline l',sen, of Baltimore; Fred 
Petersen, a rcLired jar pet merchant, 
iiuh- res'uing >ri Baltimore, and Mr.( 
FioctQi cf this town. It wool "i bo well 
if these reminders' of one 01 tho mont 
infamous cr lines evei coin/pitted In 
tho «:i\ilizod worm Louhl he added to! 
tlio murvoloua coliccilun of Lincoln] 
relies at , , Wasinngion. Tlie pillow 
.owned by Mr. Hector Is covered with 
blood ua distinct a i most' to thia day 
,..-> wr.en it ■ wa» ai,ed in Washington 
now nearly lit. li a century ago. 

Tiio ;miu\v. tiiowa some black marks; 
besides t:.c biood ataina, which am 
Supposed to liavo beet) made by a pair 
of rubbe. iu'ioes worn by Mr, Lincoln 
i he n.Kht oi rua mu.*utv, which wevq 
b^ridled up with the uedclothcH iu tho 
to.'ilhlc contusion of tho ni^rit. Tha 
Illustrations, tlie first th;U nave over 
been printed of these relics, show tho 
bicoi. stains, They were nude from 
special photograph;; taken for Tun 
Times by the p esent Ura Hector and 
will remind the rendei o. a fearful in- 
cident in the History of this Nation and 
of the immorta'Sty wnich eainc to I, in- 
colp through hla Fiari'lyos to v.he cuuni 
try and his suUonui, «uto ueath. 

George Rector, Who Owns Lincoln Kejics. 


Vol. LXVII. No. 7 

February 12, 1913 

Whole Number 2»5» 

N K W S P A P E R , P E B R U A R V I * , I 9 I * 

The Morning Lincoln Died 




R y C i; R O E S II E R I I) A N 

EDITOR'S NOTE:— We are indebted lo Capt. Osborn H. Oldroyd. 
founder of the museum in the house in which Lincoln breathed his last, 
for much of the information which this article contains. Mr. Oldroyd 
is undoubtedly the most faithful Lincoln student in the United 
States. It is a pleasure to pay him this tribute. 

i !■■ 



A famous picture drawn for ''Leslie's" by its special artist. Allien Berg ha u a. on April lf». 
I86.S, two days after the President was shot at Ford's Theater, by John Wilkes Uooth. h 
was published in "Leslie's" of April 29, 1865. This was the first and probably the most accu- 
rate picture made of that memorable scene. The artist took the greatest pains to locate the 
positions of the distinguished men present and he reproduced the details of the room with 
perfect fidelity. The death room Is In a house opposite the theater, now utilized as a Lin- 
coln Museum. There are hosts of visitors to this historic place every year. Left to right. 
standing: J. (J Ike, II. UIke, Mr. Karnsworth, Mr. Petersen, Jr., Chief Justice Chase, Mr. 
Colfax, Postmaster-General Dennison, Mr. Proctor, Mr. Petersen, Charles Sumner. Robert 
Lincoln, Rufus P. Andrews. Genera] Meade, Surgeon Crane, General I la Heck. Mr. Sanford. 
Secretary Stanton. Seated: Secretary Welles, Surgeon Stone, Surgeon-General Barnes. 



death scene 
of Abraham Lin- 
cluii has been depicted 
thousands of times, 
and in the costliest 
and most elaborate 
engravings, but the 
highest prized sketch 
of that greatest hu- 
man interest moment 
in the history of the nation is a drawing by a 
faithful FRANK LESLIE'S artist who gained 
access to the chamber before any of his 
colleagues. To the accuracy of this man's 
pen, we owe an everlasting debt for the 
most reliable and graphic representation of 
the last sad hour. His performance was 
hailed as the most spectacular journalistic 
feat of the time, because In 1 drew the ear- 
liest picture of the scene, and without doubt, 
the first one which was ever published. 

When Lincoln was shot, by John Wilkes 
Booth, at Ford's Theater on April 14, 1N65, 
two army paymasters rushed to his box, 
among other citizens, and then one ol them 
ordered the President's carriage to take the 
dying executive to the White I louse. Dr. 
Charles Taft, a surgeon in the audience, 
who by the way was not related to Presi- 
dent Taft, hastily countermanded the order 
and directed that the President be moved 
to the nearest bed. Lincoln would not 
have jived to reach home, because the jolt- 
ing over the cobble-stone pavement would 
undoubtedly have brought on a fatal 
hemorrhage. Thus it was that the mortally 
wounded victim was taken across the 
street from Ford's Theater lo the plain 
little home of William Petersen, a tailor. 
So eager were men to help that they tore 
theater chairs from their fastenings that 
those who were carrying Mr. Lincoln might 
have room. On reaching the street, the 
tearfid group made its way to the porch of 
the house. A man was standing on the 
stoop, the door was open, and there was a 
dim light in the hall. Those who bore the 
President were relieved to find a neat bed- 
room at the end of the hall, and there the 
unconscious form was tenderly laid. 

"The single bed was pulled out from the 
corner of the room, and the martyred Presi- 
dent laid upon it, diagonally, his extreme 
length not admitting of any other position," 
Dr. Taft afterward related to Capt. Osborn 
II. Oldroyd, who has made such a thorough 
study of accurate Lincoln data- "I then ad- 
ministered a small glass of brandy and 
water, and it was swallowed without much 
difficulty. Twenty minutes afterward, I 
gave him another leaspoonful, but it was 
not swallowed. To the whole anterior sur- 
lace of the body, from neck to ankles, sina- 
pism was applied, with the hope of restoring 
vitality, but not the smallest sign of con- 
sciousness was shown by the patient from 
the moment I saw him in the box until his 

"All through the long, weary night tin 
watchers stood by the couch of the dying 
President," Mr. Oldroyd told me, taking up 
the narrative, "lie was unconscious every 
minute from the lime the bullet crashed 
into his brain — which was at twenty min- 
utes past ten o'clock at night — until the 
dawn of day, when the tide of life ebbed out. 
About seven o'clock in the morning Dr. 
Stone, the family physician who had been 
in attendance along with Surgeon-General 
Joseph K. Barnes, announced that death 
was at hand. At twenty-two minutes past 
seven the pulse ceased beating. 

"Secretary Stanton approached the bed 
and uttered, in a low voice: Noli) he belongs 
lo Ike ages. Rev. Phineas I). Gurley, the 
President's pastor, dropped upon his knees 
by the bedside and uttered a fervent prayer. 
Never was a supplication wafted to Heaven 
under more solemn circumstances. Or. 
Gurley went to the front parlor, where he 
prayed with Mrs. Lincoln. At the con- 
clusion ol the prayer, he, with Robert 
Lincoln, assisted her to the death cham- 

"At nine o'clock soldiers placed I he body 
of the President in a temporary coffin, 
wrapped it with the American Mag, and car- 
ried it lo the hearse. The soldier squad 

wilh 1 .rir.rrl ,<f .•■■, -.I-.- f^lt. ...-,.. J I.. C ■ 

oral C. C. Augur ami other military officers 
on foot, formed the procession, which moved 
up Tenth Street lo (",, thence to the White 
House, where the body was carried in by 
soldiers. Every loyal man fell that he had 
suffered a personal bereavement, and as 
the sad news spread throughout the city 
the rain began to softly fall, as if the 
heavens were weeping for the nation's 

The following clay Leslie's artist gained 
admission to the room in which Lincoln had 
died. William T. (lark, a soldier belonging 

10 Company O, 13th Massachusetts In- 
fantry, was the occupant of the place and 
Captain Oldroyd has a copy of a letter 
which Clark wrote in which he vividly re- 
fers to the artist's visit. It is lo his sister, 
is dated Wednesday, April 19, 1S65, and 
reads : 

To-day the funeral nl Mr. Lincoln Hikes place 
The streets me lieinc .Tended at this curly hour 
(!i a.m.) und Uto procession will probably nut inovr 
fur three bourn. The past few days have been of 
Intense exeltemenl ; arrests iirr numerously made — 
If any parly is hcurd 10 utter nocuab sentiments. 

The time has come when persons CUMOl s.iv what 
they please, for the people] ure awfully Indignant . 

1 1 uiiili 1 ils dally call ut the house to pain entrance 
to my room. 

I was eiujnucod nearly all Sunday with l'n.iNK 
Lksuf.'.s special artist, aidinifhim in making a com- 
plete drawing of the last momenta of Lincoln, a-s I 
Know the position of everyone percent. He suc- 
ceeded In ncrrutlllg a line sketch, which will appear 
in their paper. 

So careful of details was the artist that he 
depicted a copy of an old engraving which 
hung on the wall. Herring's "Village Black- 
smith," which still hang* in the same place. 
He even caught the curious slant of the top 
of I lie ceiling over Lincoln's dealh-bed. 

CO Sixtv1iTti " eC ° rd J 01 ! 6? N0> m '" Wwhlngtcn, Tuesday, June 1, 1926 

Sixty-Ninth Congress, First Session 

The Passing of Lincoln 



ov wisconsin 

In this House of Representatives 

Tuesday, June 1, 1926 

Mr. FREAK. Mr. Speaker, several days ago it was my privi- 
lege to have a highly interesting interview with CorpL James 
Tanner, once commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, a 
man who lost both legs in the Civil War, and an able, rugged, 
forceful man to-day, who cures nothing for titles nor honors 
beyond the plain name of " corporal," which he earned when a 
boy of 17 in the- Army, and when so frightfully wounded in 

He was called upon by Secretary Stanton and others as a 
stenographer to be present on that terrible night when Lincoln 
was assassinated. The facts related by Corporal Tanner imme- 
diately surrounding the events of that night are of such wide- 
spread interest and supply a chapter that may not have been 
preserved elsewhere, that I have asked the privilege to place 
in the Record his recent letter to me and his statement of what 
transpired within his own knowledge on the night of April 14, 

In doing this let mo further say it is at the request of my 
father, now living, aged nearly 92 years, a veteran of the 
Second Wisconsin Cavalry, who served three years and six 
months during that great war and fought under Lincoln to 
save the Union. On this day, following the impressive memo- 
rial exercises held throughout the land yesterday, I feel the 
timo and circumstance la opportune for their insertion in the 

&SOISTBR of Wilu, United Status, 

WastUiiyton, D. 0., May 7, 10ZS. 
Udu. Jam&s A. FiiWAu, 

Uoutsa of HepresenttUives, Washington, D. 0. 

Mt Dbajj MR. FiiKAHi Thanks for your very compliineutary commu- 
nication. While I would not dealro to be thought ua seektag publicity; 

Congressional Record Vol . 6? No. 1A3 

Sixty-Ninth Congress, First Session 

Washington, Tuesday, June 1, 1926^" 




because of my accidental participation In the supreme tragedy of Uils 
Nation and all of iU history, I have no objection to what you proiKisc, of 
placing that urtiele in the RB0ORD of Congress, for I can readily see 
that the matter la Of very general Interest to all our millions of inhabi- 
tants. Tliis, not at all because I wrote it, but beeauso or their Interest 
In the toweling subject of what I wrote. It lias never been In the 
BBCOOD, In one way or other, the subject matter baa been printed, 
but never collectedly, to Illustrate: 

As 1 (old you, for 50 years 1 have attended the annual encampments 
of the Grand Army of the Republic; never missed one since I began 
In 1870. Well, It was gem rally known that I bad hern In that death 
group and the reporters would come for an Interview, and generally, 
tiny would mangle what I gave them, plenty of misstatements, and 
whatever they got they would cut it to suit their cloth, and the 
" cloth " was the space they could give it, und even after I wrote this 
article some years ago, I would lake a copy or two along to I ho na- 
tional encampment, and when they would come at me about this mat- 
ter, bund them this slutement, they would take it, but they would 
measure what Bpace they hud in their paper and Invariably cut It, 
ti ml never once gave it In full, and I never felt more like bitting u 
man iu cold blood (though I guess I was suddenly hot under the 
collar) as when a sprig of a reporter tackling me about it, said, 
"So you were really at Mr. Lincoln's deathbed?" I said, " Yes ; 
there's my account of it. Don't pour more questions on me," and with 
u smirk, be remarked, "It must have been an interesting occasion." 
I certainly would have smote him if I had had the physical ability. 

You are at perfect liberty to do whatever you sec bt with It. 
Cordially yours, 

Jamics Tannuo. 

t1iu passincj oit abba.ha.m lincoln 

Among all the characters who loomed largo In the public mind from 
3 801 to 1865, one camo to stand apart and alone in supremacy, finally 
recognized almost unanimously the world over as without a peer. It 
took the perspective of many years to enable US to get a correct viow 
of (ho greatness of his character, his transcendent intellectual endow- 
ment, the utter unselfishness of bis purpose, bis absolute devotion to 
the Interests of the Nation, which had called him to its leadership 
and the great agony endured by his loving, gentle heart as he stag- 
gered under bis awful burden, an agony never equaled since the 
Savior of mankind passed the night in the Garden of Gethsemane. 

Our people have shown iu a thousand ways, und particularly lu his 
recent centennial, that every atom relating to the life of Abraham 
Lincoln Is of Intense and conlinuous Interest to them, aud because of 
this and because of the fact that I was a spectator of the Anal scene 
of the supreme tragedy of that time on the morning of April lo, 1805, 
I pen these lines. 

At that lime f was an employee of the Ordnance Bureau of the War 
Department and had some ability as a shorthand writer. The latter 
fact brought me within touch of tho events of that awful night. I bad 
gone with a friend to witness the performance that evening at Urover's 
Theater, where now stands the New National. Soon after 10 o'clock a 
man rushed In from the lobby and cried out, " i'resident Lincoln has 
been shot In Ford's Theater." There was great confusion at once, most 
of the audience rising to their feet. Some one cried out, " It's a ruse 
of the pickpockets; look out I " Almost everybody resumed bis seat, 
but almost immediately one of tho cast stepped out on the stage and 
said, " The sad news is too true ; the audience will disperse." 

My friend and myself crossed to Willard's Hotel and there were told 
that Secretary Seward bad been killed. Men's faces blanched as tbey 
at once asked, "What news of Stanton? Uavo tbey got him, too?" 
The wildest rumors soon tilled the air. 

I had rooms at the time in the house ndjolulug tho Peterson bouse, 
into which the President bad been carried. Hastening down to Tenth 
Street, I found an ulmost solid mass of humanity blocking tho street 
und the crowd constantly enlarging. A silence that was appalling 
prevailed. Interest centered on all who entered or emerged from the 
Peterson bouse, and all of the latter were closely questioned as to the 
stricken President's condition, i'rom tho llrst the answers were un- 
varying — that there was no hope. 

A military guard had been placed in front of the house and those 
adjoining, but upon telling the commanding olllcer that I lived there I 
passed up to my apartment, which comprised tho second story front of 
the house. There was a balcony in front, and I fouud my rooms and 
the balcony thronged by the other occupants of the house. Horror 
was In every heart and dismay on every countenance. AVe had just 
about a week of tumultuous Joy over the dowufull of Richmond and 
the collapse of the Confederacy, aud now In an instant nil this wus 
changed to the deepest woe by the foul shot of the cowardly assassin. 

U was nearly midnight when Major General Augur (mine out on tho 
stoop of the Peterson House and asked If there was anyone In tbo 
crowd who could write shorthand. There was no response from the 
street, but one of my friends on the balcony told the general there 
was a young man Inside who could serve blm, whereupon the general 
told hiui to ask uie to come down us they uecded me. So it waa that 

I enmo into close touch with the scenes and events surrounding the 
tlu.'il hours of Abraham Lincoln's lifo. 

Entering tho house I accompanied Genera] Auger down the hallway 
to tin; rear parlor. As we passed the door of the front parlor tin* 
moans and sobs of Mrs. Lincoln struck painfully upon our . urs. 
[Entering tbo rear parlor, I found Secretary Stanton, Judge David ic. 
Carter, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, 
Hon. It. A. Dill, and many ethers. 

I took my seat on one side of a small library table opposite Mr. Stan- 
ton, with Judge Carter ut tho end. Various witnesses were brought in 
who had oil tier been la Lord's 'theater or up in the vl inlty of Mr. 

Seward's residence. Among them were Harry Hawk, who bad been 
Asa 'Pri ii. Inn el that uli,bt In the play, "Our American Cousin," Mr. 
Alfred ClOUgbly, Col. G. V. Itutherford, and others. As I look dowu 
the Statements they made we were distracted by the distress of Mrs. 
Lincoln, for though the folding doors between the two parlors wire 
closed, her ir.mi ic sorrow was distressingly audible to OS. 

She was accompanied by Miss Harris, of New York, who, with Iut 
liaiiee, Major Balhbone, hud gone to the theater with the President 
aud Mrs. Lincoln. Booth, iu his rush through tho box after bring 
the fatal shot, had lunged nt Major Kathbouo with his dagger und 
wounded blm in the arm .slightly. In the naturally Intense excite- 
ment over the President's condition it is probable thut Major Bath- 
bone himself did not realize that he was wounded until after be bad 
been in tho Peterson House some time, when bo fainted from lots of 
blood, was attended to, bis wound dressed, und lie taken to bis ujiact- 
uieiits. lie and Miss Harris subsequently married. 

Through all the testimony given by those who lind been iu Lord's 
►Theater that night there was un undertone of horror which held the 
witnesses back from positively Identifying the assassin as Booth. Said 
Harry Hawk, " to the best of my belief, It was Mr. John Wilkes Booth, 
but I will not bo positive," und so It went through the testimony of 
others, but the sum total left no doubt as to the identity of the as- 

Our task was interrupted very many times during the night, some- 
times by reports or dispatches for Secretary Stanton but more often 
by him for tho purpose of issuing orders calculated to enmesh liootb in 
ills bight. "Guard the Potomac from the city down," was his repeated 
direction. "He will try to get south." Many dispatches were sent 
from that table before morning, some to General Dix at New York, 
others to Chicago, Philadelphia, etc. 

Several times Mr. Stanton left us a few moments and passed hnrk 
to the room iu the ell ut the end of the ball where the President 
lay. The doors were open and sometimes there would he a few BCCOlids 
of absolute silence when we could hear plainly the stertorous breathing 
of the dying man. 1 think It was on his return from his Uilrd trip of 
this kind when, as be again took his seat opposite me, I looki d earnestly 
at him, desiring, yet hesitating to ask if there was any chance of life. 
Ho understood und 1 saw u choke In his throat us he slowly forced the 
answer to my unspoken question — " There is no hope." lie had im- 
pressed mo through those awful hours as being a man of steel, but I 
knew then thut ho was dangerously near a convulsive breakdown. 

During tho night there camo In, 1 think, about every man then of 
prominence iu our national life who was in the Capital ut the time and 
who had Iniird of the tragedy. A few whom I distinctly recall WCTO 
Secretaries Welles, Usher, and MrCullough, Attorney General Speed, 
und Postmaster GcneralJDennison, Assistant Secretaries Field and Otto, 
Governor Oglesby, Senators Sumner and Stewart, aud Generals Meigs 
and Augur. I huvo seen many asserted pictures of tho deathbed scene 
and most nf them huvo Vice I'resident Andrew John6on seated In ii 
chair near tho foot of the bed on the left bide. Mr. Johnson was uot 
in the house at all, but in his rooms iu the Kiikwood House, and knew 
nothing of tho events of that night until he was aroused In the morning 
by Senator Stewart aud others and told be was I'resident of the 
United States. 

With tho completion of tho taking of the testimony, I at once began 
to transcribe my shorthand notes into longhand. Twice while so en- 
gaged Miss Harris supported Mrs. Lincoln down tbo hallway to her 
husband's bedside. The door leading into the hallway from the room, 
Wherein I sat wus open and 1 bud u plulu view of them us they si >«ly 
passed. Mrs. Lincoln wus uot ut the bedside when her '■ ■ 1 
breathed his last. Indeed, I think it was nearly, if not quite, two hours 
before the end when she pnid her last visit to the death chamber, nnd 
when sho passed our door on her return she cried out, "O my God, 
nnd hnvo I given my husband to die 1 " 

1 have witnessed and experienced much physical ugony on battle field 
and In hospital, but of It all nothing sunk deeper In my memory than 
that moan of a breaking heart. 

I finished transcribing my notes at 0.45 in the morning and paired 
back Into tho room Where the President lay. There were gathered all 
those whose names I have mentioned and many others, about 20 or 23 
in all, 1 should Judge. The bed bad been pulled out from tic corner 
and owing to the stature of Mr. Lincoln he lay diagonally on his back. 
He had been utterly unconscious from thfl Instant the bullet ploughed 
Into bis biaiu. Ills stertorous breathing subsided a Couple of minutes 


Congressional Record Vol. 6? Mo. 
Sixty-Ninth Congress, First Session 


Washington, Tuesday, June 1, 1926 






atti r 7 o'clock, Fr»>u> th*;i to too «-nd Oalj the g<-nlrc iih ai.4 l«»ll of 
bin huaoui Indication t tin t IK. ivu.ulned. 

Xke burgeon .QcMral «n star u>« head ..i tin* bed, «~ im un* « aiiiiug 
on the edge thereof, his finger on tin' pulse uf the dying man. Occa- 
n!. .-.ill., he put bis ear down to catch tha i-. ., ulus Lea la uf his heart 
Mr. I.IucxIu'h |....i ., the Reverend Doctor C irley, Mood a little to tho 
left of the l<ed. Mr Ntuotoii but lu a chair "far the foot on the left, 
where th< pkctmes place Andrei ,...,.,.. 1 , tood gull . ueur the bead 
of the bod iiu.1 from thai position hud full view of Mr. Stanton acroifl 
the President's body. At my right Robert lducolu boI>iikI ou the shoul 

d. i of I UlirlSH Smuu. j 

fciuuton'H tja ■- wan fixed 1 1 . . . . . i .• «a tin' countenance a bin Jj^.j 
chief. He bad, tn I .-ii Ueou u man uf steel through iut the Hi,. I.., 
but «.- l looked ui iiiu face across the corner of the bed and >nw tho 
twitching of tin in .;..<■■ h I knew that it \...., only by a puweriul < aun 
thin ho .- i.-ii. j ii i. ■ ii 

Tho Unit Indication tbut the dreaded iud had com.- was ut 22 miauled 
pant 7, when thi burgeon General gently crossed the puita/ivs* hands 
of Uueolu across toe motionless breast .mil ro-ie to bin feet. 

Reverend Doctor Oar ley stepped forward n&d lifting hi» hands begun, 
"Our Father and our tlod" — I snatched pencil and notebook- from my 
[i.i.i.'i, but my haste defeated my purpose. My pencil point d had 
but one i caught lu my coat anu tirokc. and the world loht the prayer— 
a fni'i - iiii ■ wan only interrupted i>y the of Btanton n» u« 
burled his fttet; lu the bedclothca. An "Thy will be done, Aineu," lu 
subdued and Iremulona tones ri . i. i through that Utile chamber, Mr. 
.Stanton raised his hand, the tcura Streaming down bin cheeks A more 
BK'onlni-d ozpresalon I never aiiw on a huuiuu countenance Hd he wotiiied 
out the words, " He belongs to the ngus now." 

Mr. stunton directed MaJ. Thumus M. Vincent of the a..n to tuke 
charge of the body, culled a meeting of tho Cabinet In the room wh"r* 
we hud passed moat of the nlt'iit, and the assemblage disponed. 

Coiug to my apart uicrvt, 1 tint iJukii :it 0UCr to uiake a aicoBcl lung 
hand copy for Mr. Hluuruu of Hie testimony I hud taken. It occurring 
to me Unit 1 wuhed to retain the one I hud written out that night 1 
bud been thus engaged but a brief time, when hearing Home corn motion 
on the street, I stepped to the window and saw a cninu containing tJ>a 
body of tho dead President being placed lu u hearse, which pa**ed up 
Tsntb Klreet to f and thus to the v\ ii 1 1 • - House escorted i > a lieutenant 
and 10 privates. As they parsed will) measured tread and arm* 
reversed, uiy bund Involuntarily went t« niy hind lu salute; a- they 
started on their long, losx,- journey buck to the prniPlC-B mid the Inula 
be knew and loved *u well, Ihu inorcai remains of the greatest American 
of all lime, bar none. 

.Iahi-M 7a:. m * 
Lute corporul. Company O, Kiyhii/sevf/ith U<.yt*t<nt A«nt York 
Vehmtctri, Acarnry'i ;'i..<icni, Third Corps, Arm^ »/ (/■« 

Commander in ohief, OiuhU Aimy of the tttiiuiiw, ii~/0 unit tso*. 


THE DEATH OF LINCOLN— J. H. Littlefield's conception of the final scene in America's first 
Farwell, Secretary McCulloch, Governor Oglesby, General Farnsworth, Vice President Johnson, Judge < 
C. S. Taft, Senator Sumner, Attorney General Speed, Dr. Crane, Rev. Dr. Gurley, Secretary Usher. G« 
Stone (on bed), Mrs. Lincoln, and Surgeon General Barnes. 


Chicago Tribune 
Febaruary 10, 1929 

residential assassination. At the deathbed, as identified by the old-time artist, were, standing: Governor 
)tto, Speaker Colfax, Postmaster General Dennison, Dr. C. A. Leale, Maj. John Hay, Robert Lincoln, Dr. 
neral Halleck, "General Auger, Secretary Stanton, and General Meigs. Seated: Secretary Welles, Dr. 

(Reproduction through courtesy of Chicago Historical society ) 

Deathbed Scene 

Groups with Lincoln Presen' 

Prizes Eicture 
Of Lincoln on 
His Death Bed 

H»- International New* Service- 

IGRAND JUNCTION, Colo*., Feb. 13. 
-jOMtual photograph of Abraham 
LifcelJin on his death bed surrounded 
1 by a dozen or more close friends Is 
I one of the prized possessions of 
Charles A. Baker, a passenger con- 
ductor on the Denver and Rio Grande 

The picture was given to Baker's 
grandmother by Mrs. Lincoln within 
a month of the president's death. 

"My grandmother and her family," 
Baker said, "were friends of the Lin- 
colns in Kentucky, long before Abe 
Lincoln was on the road to fame. 

"Lincoln died April 15, 1865, and 
my grandmother received the photo 
from Mrs. Lincoln the following May 
10. My grandmother in 1868 gave the 
picture to my mother, Fanny Baker, 
and she in turn gave it to me before 
her death in 1917, in Omaha." 
^The picture, which Baker says was 
taken a few moments after Lincoln 
died shows a group of friends, includ- 
ing Gideon Wells, secretary of the 
navy; Edwin N. Stanton, secretary of 
war, and several prominent military 
leaders of the Civil war grouped 
about the bed on which the body is 

The plate from which the picture 
was made was destroyed, it is be- 
lieved, on orders from Mrs. Lincoln. 
Baker has refused $500 for the pic- | 
ture. He intends to will the picture 
to his son, John Mercer Baker. 



b interest h-m been aroused 
o recent showing Of the 
il photograph of Abraham 
Lincoln, which attracted many 
people last week. The 'photograph 
was on display in the window of 
the Red. Trunk Clothing Co. 

The photograph is the property 
of 'Charles vA. Baker, local rail- 
road man, and it is a 'prized pos- 
session, llit was given to Mr. Bak- 
er's prandimother by Airs. Lincoln 
on May 10, I860, shortly after 

Lincoln passed away of the bullet 
wouiwi inflicted by Booth. 

The picture has been shown 
here several times and at each 
showing, new interest is created 
and it becomes more valuable. An 
enlargement of the picture was 
also shown here last week. The 
actual photograph shows Lincoln 
on his deathbed, surrounded by 
members of the cabinet and, Mrs. 
Lincoln kneeling at his bedside. 



Lincoln died at 7:22 A.M., Saturday, April IS, 1866. 

Many prominent officials were present at his death. 

Secretary of War Stanton at the moment Lincoln died said, "Now he 
Belongs to the Ages. H 

Lincoln never regained consciousness after he was wounded. 

Lincoln died in the same bed in which John Wilkes Booth had slept 
three months before. 

Lincoln at the time of his death received the best possible radical 

It would be impossible for medical science today to save the life of 
any man who had a wound similar to Lincoln's. 

The days of the iaonth of April for the year 1932 are the same as the 
days of the came month in the year of 1865, 


\i deathbed of President 

Lincoln. He breathed hi* 

last in presence of kith, km 

and statesmen. 


of the birth of Abraham 
Lincoln, the "Great Eman- 
cipator," is being cele- 
brated by patriotic, civic 
and political organiza- 
tions throughout nation. 




(Copyright by Yale University Press) 

Booth's bullet entered Lincoln's head. All through that night his life ebbed slowly with the blood 
that soaked from his wound. At 7:22, he died, his sad life extinguished almost exactly as its triumph 
was beginning. 

DEATH OF LINCOLN— Hidden behind another picture in 
a frame bought with a number of others for 75 cents at a 
sale was this 1865 photograph, "Death-Bed of Lincoln." 
Those pictured are identified on the bottom of the print 
(left to right) as follows: Gov. Farwell, Sec. McCulloch, 
Sec. Welles, Gov. Oglesby, Gen. Farnsworth, Vice Presi- 

dent Johnson, Judge Otto. Speaker Colfax. Dr. Stone. P. 
M. Gen. Dennison, Surg. C. A. Leale. Mrs. Lincoln. M 
John Hay, Robert Lincoln. Senator Sumner. Surg. L. b. 
Taft, Dr.'Barnes, Surg. Gen.. Atty. Gen. Speed. Dr. Crane, 
Rev. Dr. Gurlev, Sec. Usher, Gen. Halleck. Gen. Auger, 
Sec. Stanton and Gen. Meigs. The print is owned by Mr. 
and Mrs. Clifford Skumlien, 1618 Carolina N. E. 


Tragic ends met by a few of them In 
L rs give color to a tradition 
a seemingly dark fate attended 
most persons who were connected with 
aftermath incident of the assassina- 
tion of President Lincoln. The legend 
is not well founded. 

The old theater, however, Knew dire 
In. On the evening of the 
day that Edwin Booth, famous actor- 
brother of the assassin, was buried at 
Boston, the interior of the structure, 
which was being rebuilt, collapsed 
Twenty-two- men were killed and C8 

Last Hours Of Lincoln Described 
In Shorthand Account Of Witness 

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Dec. 7— 
A shorthand account of the last 
hours of President Lincoln, trans- 
mitted to a friend two days after 
the Emancipator's death by a war 
department clerk who was at his 
bedside, has just come into posses- 
sion of the University of Michigan. 
The manuscript was the gift of 
Mrs. Nellie Strawhecker of Grand 
Rapids. Mich., to the William L. 
Clements library, the university re- 
pository of many rare relics of 
America, including- a similar ac- 
count of the death of George Wash- 
ington as penned by Tobias Lear, 
the first president's steward at Mt. 

Corporal James Tanner, then a 
clerk in the War Department and 
later commissioner of pensions dur- 
ing the pension scandal of the Har- 
rison administration, wrote the ac- 
count of Lincoln's death to Hadley 
H. Walch, for many years a court 
stenographer in Grand Rapids. The 
manuscript, at Walch's death, be- 
came the property of his partner 
who, in turn, bequeathed it to his 
widow, Mrs. Strawhecker. 

Corporal Tanner, writing on April ! 
17. 1865, said he was summoned to ' 
take statements of witnesses of the 

Reports Scene 
"I wnt into a room between the 
rear room and the front room," 
Tanner wrote in the quaint hier- 

| oglyphics which he called "standard 

"Mrs. Lincoln was in the front 
room, weeping as though her heart 
would break. 

"In the back room lay His Excel- 
lency, breathing hard and with 
every breath a groan." 

In the room between, Tanner said, 
were witnesses and many digni- 

"In 15 minutes," Tanner wrote, "I 
had testimony enough down to hang 
Wilkes Booth, the assassin, higher 
than any human ever hung." 

Of Mrs. Lincoln's last leave-tak- ! 
ing from her husband, the corporal 

"As she passed through the hall 
back to the parlor after she had 
taken leave of the President for the 
last time, as she went by the door 
I heard her moan, 'O, my God, and 
have I given my husband to die.' 

"And I tell you," Tanner com- 
mented, "I never heard so much 
agony in so few words." 

Then, telling of watching the 
assassinated President die, Tanner 

"I finished my notes and passed 
into the back room where the 
President lay; it was very evident 
that he could not last long. There 
was no crowd in the room, which 
was very small, and I approached 
quite near the bed on which so 
much greatness lay— fast losing its 
j hold on this world. 

Dignitaries Present 

[ "The head of the bed was toward 
the door; at the head stood Capt. 
Robert Lincoln, weeping on the 
shoulder of Senater Sumner. Gen- 
eral Halleck stood just behind 
Robert Lincoln and I stood just to 
the left, between him and General 
Meiggs. Secretary Stanton was 
there trying every way to be calm 
and yet he was very much moved. 

"Utmost silence prevailed, broken 
only by the sound of strong men's 
sobs. It was a solemn time, I 
assure vou. 

"The President breathed heavily 
until a few minutes before he 
breathed his last, then his breath 
came easily and he passed off verv 

Dr. Randolph G. Adams, director 
of the •Clements library, said there 
was no doubt of the authenticity of 
the manuscript, written on a War 
Department letterhead. Dr. Adams 
said Tanner acknowledged author- 
ship of the letter before his death 
in 1927 but it remained in private 



r / 


Is this a print of an actual 
photograph taken as Abraham 
Lincoln lay on his deathbed with' 
the assassin's bullet in his body? 
E. A. Bohn, Lincoln fire insur- 
ance adjustor who owns the 
photograph, believes that it was 
actally made in the death cham- 
ber. Persual of data in libraries 
over the state, and personal ex- 
amination of the photograph 
with a magnifying glass have 
only strengthened his belief that 
the photograph is genuine. Care- 
ful examination failed to reveal 
any brush strokes or other de- 

tails which would indicate the 
print is a photograph of a paint- 
ing or drawing, Bohn declares. 
The photograph, about 6 by 3 
inches in size, shows marked 
signs of a long and somewhat 
hectic life. In 1935, it was hang- 
ing on the wall in the back room 
of Art Gordon's drugstore at 
Merna, Neb. It had hung there 
for many years, and Gordon 
knew that the man who owned 
it before him had had it many 
years. Fire broke out in the 
store, and everything in it, in- 
cluding many of Gordon's per- 
sonal treasures in the back 

room, was destroyed. Every- 
thing, that is, but the Lincoln 

Bohn went out to handle in- 
surance matters for Gordon. He 
exclaimed so often over the Lin- 
coln deathbed photograph that 
Gordon, pleased with Bohn's 
work as adjuster, presented him 
with the picture. Now Bohn 
would like to know if there is in 
existence any other picture of 
the emancipator's deathbed 
scene. There seems to be a 
pretty good chance that even a 
photograph of such a picture is 
a comparatively rare piece. 

Bulletin of the Lincoln National Life Foundation ------ Dr. Louis A. Warren, Editor, 

Published each week by The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Fort Wayne, Indiana 

Number 523 


April 17, 1939 


The house standing at 516, formerly numbered 453, 
Tenth Street Northwest in Washington has become one 
of the nation's most impressive shrines. Here Abraham 
Lincoln passed away in a room smaller than the cabin 
room in which he was born. 

Immediately after the President was shot by the 
assassin Booth at Ford's Theatre on the night of April 
14, 1865, Dr. Charles Taft examined the prostrate body 
of Lincoln and ordered it removed to the nearest bed. Dr. 
Taft states that in directing those carrying the body he 
observed upon reaching the street a man 
standing on the porch of a house just oppo- 
site the theatre. "To that house I directed 
my steps," he said, "and was pleased to find 
a neat hedroom at the end of the hall, with- 
i out going upstairs. The single bed was 
pulled out from the corner of the room and 
the dying President laid upon it diagonally, 
his extreme length not admitting any other 

The house to which the body of the un- 
conscious Lincoln was taken was occupied by 
the family of Mr. W. Petersen, and the dwell- 
ing has since become known as the Petersen 
House. The building, a three-story brick 
with a "light" basement which virtually 
made it a four-story building, was under 
construction when Abraham Lincoln was in 
Congress in 1849. 

Mr. Petersen evidently became offended be- 
cause his home had been called a tenement 
house by some of the news reporters, and he 
had this impression corrected by Leslie's 
weekly which commended, "Mr. Petersen's 
house in which the President died is one of 
the most respectable houses in Washington 
and not a tenement house ... It is one of 
the highest of its class." 

There were several roomers in the house, 
however, and the room where the body of the 
President was taken was rented by William 
T. Clark. Four other men were inmates of 
the home as indicated by this interesting ex- 
cerpt from Leslie's paper of April 29, 1865 : 

"Artistic Accuracy 

"We present to our readers below conclus- 
ive and unsolicited evidence of the accuracy 
of our engraving of the scene at the deathbed 
of President Lincoln: 

Washington, D. C, 453 10th Street, 
Sunday, April 16, 1865. 
"We, the undersigned, inmates of No. 453 
10th street, Washington, D. C, the house in 
which President Abraham Lincoln died, and 
being present at the time of his death, do 
hereby certify that the sketches taken by Mr. 
Albert Berghaus, Artist for Leslie's Illustrated News- 
paper, are correct. 


To the artist Berghaus we are indebted for a minute 
description of the death chamber: 

"The room in which the President died is in the rear 
part of the building, and at the end of the main hall, from 
which rises a stairway. The walls are covered with a 
brownish paper, figured with a white design. Its dimen- 




1. Front parlor occupied by 
Mrs. Lincoln. 

2. Back parlor occupied by Sec- 
retary Stanton for the prelimi- 
nary examination of witnesses. 

3. Hall bedroom in which the 
President died. 

sions are about ten by fifteen feet. Some engravings and 
a photograph hang upon the walls. The engravings were 
copies of the 'Village Blacksmith,' and Herring's 'Stable 
and Barnyard Scenes.' The photograph was one taken 
from an engraved copy of Rosa Bonheur's 'Horse Fair.' 
The only furniture in the room was a bureau covered with 
crochet, a table, eight or nine plain chairs, and the bed upon 
which Mr. Lincoln lay when his spirit took its flight. The 
bedstead was a low walnut, with headboard from two to 
three feet high. The floor was carpeted with Brussels, 
considerably worn. Everything on the bed 
was stained with the blood of the Chief Mag- 
istrate of the nation." 

One wonders why a much larger bedroom 
just in back of the parlor was not used in 
preference to the hall bedroom as it contained 
a bed, but Dr. Taft's comment and a citation 
by Mr. Oldroyd may answer the question. 
Apparently the bed in the large room was not 
made up, while Dr. Taft refers to Clark's 
room as "a neat bedroom." 

A letter which William Clark wrote to his 
sister Ida four days after the assassination 
has been preserved and reveals some interest- 
ing side lights on this last host to the mar- 
tyred President: 

"Dear Sister Ida: 

"Today the funeral of Mr. Lincoln takes 
place . . . Hundreds daily call at the house 
to gain admission to my room. I was en- 
gaged nearly all Sunday with one of Frank 
Leslie's special artists, aiding him in making 
a complete drawing of the last moments of 
Mr. Lincoln, as I know the position of every- 
one present. He succeeded in executing a fine 
sketch, which will appear in their pauer. He 
wished to mention the names of all pictures 
in the room, particularly the photograph of 
yourself, Clara, and Nannie; but I told him 
he must not do that, as they were members 
of my family, and I did not wish them to be 
made so public. He also urged me to give 
him my picture, or at least allow him to take 
my sketch, but I could not see that either. 
Everybody has a great desire to obtain some 
memento from my room, so thr.t whoever 
comes in has to be closely watched for fear 
they will steal something. I have a lock of 
Mr. Lincoln's hair, which I have had neatly 
framed; also a piece of linen with a portion 
of his brain. The pillow and case upon which 
he lay when he died, and nearly all his wear- 
ing apparel, I intend to send to Robert Lin- 
coln as soon as the funeral is over as I con- 
sider him the most justly entitled to them. 
The same mattress is on my bed, and the 

same coverlid covers me nightly that covered him while 

dying . . . 

"Your affec. brother, 


Sixteen years later the house was in possession of Louis 
Schade, and the room in which Lincoln died became the 
playroom for Mr. Schade's children. The memorial asso- 
ciation of the District of Columbia leased the house and 
it was opened as a museum on October 17, 1893. It is now 
the property of the government and its restoration has 
been directed so as to create the surroundings as they 
appeared on the night of Lincoln's death. 


"O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done; 

The ship has weathered every wrack, the prize we sought is won" 

"B»th 0/ a Ration," fi, W. Griffith — Photographic History Service, Ho\l]/u:oo4 

j JO, 

This Lithograph Was A Best-Seller 

THIS CVRRIER & IVES lithograph, "The Deathbed of the Martyr President Abra- 
ham Lipcoln," 1 * is owned by Mrs. George F. Holland, 1233 Old Orchard avenue. She 
bought it from a Greenville antique dealer five years ago after finding it m a hayloft, 
hidden behind a stack of pictures. Currier & Ives, working at a time when newspaper 
photographers were unknown, turned out many lithographs on events of the day and 
sold them for a dollar or two each. They are collectors'' items today. 

\ _ . \ jvwC y^ : ^ 



> ^ y^ iv~y ^ 


Bulletin of the Lincoln National Life Foundation Dr. Louis A. Warren, Editor 

Published each week by The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Fort Wayne, Indiana 

Number 627 


April 14, 1941 


Seventy-six years ago today, on the fourteenth of 
April, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated while 
attending a theatrical performance at Ford's Theatre in 
Washington. During the period between the time he was 
shot and the hour when the autopsy was performed the 
next morning, several physicians visited the bedside of 
the President. 

It seems appropriate on this anniversary day to compile 
the names of such physicians as were known to be 
present and to note such service as they were able to 
render. It would not have been possible to present such 
a complete list of physicians had not Dr. Milton H. Shutes, 
author of Lincoln and the Doctors made some contribu- 
tions in this field. 

The Three Emergency Surgeons 

There were three doctors at the theatre that evening 
who immediately responded to the call for a doctor which 
is said to have come from the Lincoln 
box. These three men, Dr. Leale, Dr. 
Taft, and Dr. King, will always be 
closely associated with the story of Lin- 
coln's last hours. 

Certainly no young surgeon but a 
short time out of medical college was 
ever called upon for professional service 
in a more dramatic situation than was 
Dr. Charles A. Leale who was the first 
to render medical assistance to the 
stricken President. Dr. Leale was but 
twenty-three years of age and was an 
assistant surgeon of United States Vol- 
unteers located at Army Square Hos- 

Upon reaching the President's side 
he immediately ordered that he be re- 
moved from the chair and allowed to 
recline on the floor. Upon finding the 
wound, he removed a clot which had 
formed which relieved intra-cranial 
pressure. Dr. Leale then attempted to 
stimulate respiration by certain pres- 
sure on the throat to free the larnyx of 
secretion. By pressure on the diaphragm 
with the assistance of others, he stimulated the heart ac- 
tion and an improvement in pulse and breathing followed. 
Further stimulation was attempted by forcible in-and- 
out breathing into the President's mouth which brought 
about heart and lung action without further artificial 

Dr. Leale then ordered that Lincoln be moved to the 
nearest bed which proved to be just across the street 
from the theatre. He supported the President's head 
while the body was being carried. Later a probing of 
the wound by Dr. Leale failed to discover the oullet. 

The second surgeon to reach the box in which Lincoln 
had been shot was Dr. Charles S. Taft, assistant surgeon, 
United States Volunteers, who was stationed at the Sig- 
nal Camp of Instruction at Georgetown. When the call 
for medical assistance came, he leaped from the top of 
the orchestra railing to the stage and was then lifted 
up to the President's box. 

Dr. Taft assisted Dr. Leale in attempting to stimulate 
heart action, and he also helped to carry the body of Mr. 
Lincoln across the street to the Petersen House. 

A letter written to Mr. Oldroyd by Dr. Taft on March 
1, 1900, states that Lincoln was laid diagonally across 
the bed because it was too short for his long body. Taft 
wrote, "I then administered a small glass of brandy and 
he swallowed it without much difficulty. Twenty minutes 
afterward I gave him another teaspoonful, but it was 
not swallowed." 

Dr. Taft recalled that most of the night he was en- 
gaged in supporting the President's head so "that the 
wound should not press upon the pillow and the flow of 
blood be obstructed." The last moments are described 
by Dr. Taft in these words, "The heart did not cease 
to beat until 22 minutes and 10 seconds after 7 o'clock. 
My hand was upon the President's heart, and my eye on 
the watch of the Surgeon-General who was standing by 
my side." 

The third physician to come immediately to the box 
after the attack on Lincoln was Dr. Albert F. A. King. 
He also assisted Dr. Leale in helping to stimulate Lin- 
coln's heart action. When the body of the President was 
moved across the street, Dr. King placed himself at the 
stricken man's left shoulder and helped to prevent any 
unnecessary movements of the head and shoulders. He 
had also assisted Dr. Leale and Dr. Taft in divesting 
Lincoln of his clothing and then covering his body with 
mustard plasters. 

Abbott, Dr. Ezra W. 
Barnes, Dr. Joseph K. 
Crane, Dr. Charles H. 
Curtis, Dr. Edward 
Ford, Dr. William Henry 
Gatch, Dr. C. D. 
Hall, Dr. Neal (J. C.) 
King, Dr. Albert F. A. 
Leale, Dr. Charles Augustus 
Lieberman, Dr. Charles Henry 
May, Dr. J. F. 
Notson, Dr. W. M. 
Stone, Dr. Robert King 
Taft, Dr. Charles S. 
Todd, Dr. Lyman Beecher 
Woodward, Dr. Ashbel 

The Three Official Physicians 

Nearly half an hour elapsed after 
the President had been placed on a bed 
before the Lincoln family physician, Dr. 
Stone, arrived. With him came Dr. 
Barnes and shortly after followed Dr. 

Just as soon as messengers could be 
secured after the shooting of Mr. Lin- 
coln, word was sent to the family phy- 
sician, Dr. Robert King Stone. Although 
of different political faith, he was a 
great admirer of Mr. Lincoln and once 
said to Carpenter, the artist, "It is the 
province of a physician to probe deeply 
the inner lives of men, and I affirm that 
Mr. Lincoln is the purest hearted man 
with whom I ever came in contact." 

It is not known that Dr. Stone did 
more that fatal night than suggest that 
another teaspoonful of brandy might be 
needed. His suggestion was followed 
out but Mr. Lincoln was not able to 
retain it. Stone was seated on the edge 
of the bed when Lincoln passed away. 

Apparently viewed from the military aspect of the 
situation, Surgeon-General Joseph K. Barnes was the 
ranking medical adviser present. At about 2 A. M. he 
searched for the bullet but the ordinary silver probe was 
too short. He then secured a longer probe and discovered 
the bullet but did not try to remove it. Passing the 
bullet he was confronted with broken segments of the 
right orbital plate of the frontal bone, but no further 
attempts were made to explore the injury. 

The task seems to have fallen to Dr. Ezra W. Abbott 
to keep the chart of the condition of the President dur- 
ing the night. Thirty-three different times he made 
notations. His first entry was made at 11:00 when he 
noted that the pulse rate was 41. Other notations follow: 
12:00, pulse 45, respiration 22; 1:00, pulse 86, respira- 
tion 30; 4:15, pulse 60, respiration 25; 6:00, pulse failing, 
respiration 28; 7:00, symptoms of immediate dissolution; 
7:22, death. 

Dr. Abbott also noted that Mrs. Lincoln, who occupied 
a room just across the hall, came to the bedside of the 
President with Robert Lincoln at 1:45 and remained 
until 2:10, returning again at 3:00. 

Altogether there were at least sixteen physicians who 
were at Lincoln's bedside at some time during the fateful 
night, and their names are to be found alphabetically 
arranged on this page. 


The following persons were reported to have boon present at the 
death-bed when -Abraham Lincoln patted away at 7:22 a.m., -April 15, 1865: 

Surgeon-General Barnes 

Secretary Stanton 

Secretary Welles 

Secretary Usher 

General Speed 

General Derail ton 

At at. Secretary Field 

At st. Secretary Otto 

Governor Ggleeby (Illinois) 

Senator Sinner 

Secretary McQulloch 

General Meigs 

General Augur 

Private Secretary John Hay 

Hobert Lincoln 

General Balleek 

Her. rhineat Gurley 

Dr. Chart, et 5aft 

Col. Tinotnt 

Atst. General Haynie 

New Light on Lincoln's Death 


WHAT happened on the tragic 
night of April 14, 1865, after 
Booth shot Lincoln at Ford's The- 
ater in Washington? Here is a 
previously unpublished eyewitness 
account of Lincoln's last hours, re- 
cently discovered among some 
family papers by Dr. Josephine 
Hemenway Kenyon, of New York 
City. It was in the form of a letter 
by her great-uncle, George Fran- 
cis, who happened to be living 
across the street from the theater 
at the time of the assassination. 

"The President died in our 
house," Mr. Francis wrote to a 
niece, "and we witnessed that 
heartbreaking scene. At the time 
of the murder, we were about get- 
ting into bed. I had changed my 
clothes and shut off the gas, when 
we heard such a terrible scream 
that we ran to the front window to 
see what it could mean. We saw a 
great commotion in the theater — 
some running in, others hurrying 
out — and we could hear hundreds 
of voices mingled in the greatest 

"Presently we heard someone 
say, 'The President is shot!' I 
hurried on my clothes and ran out 
across the street as they brought 
him out of the theater. Poor man! 
I could see, as the gaslight fell upon 
his face, that it was deathly pale, 
and that his eyes were closed. They 
carried him out into the street 
and into our house, and passed on 
to the little room in the back of the 
building, at the end of the hall. 

"Mrs. Lincoln came in soon 
after, accompanied by Major Rath- 
bone and Miss Harris. She was 

perfectly frantic. ' Where is my 
husband? Where is my husband?' 
she cried, wringing her hands in 
the greatest anguish. As she ap- 
proached his bedside, she bent over 
him, kissing him again and again, 
exclaiming, 'How can it be so? Do 
speak to me! ' 

"Secretary Stanton, Secretary 
Welles and all the members of the 
Cabinet except Secretary Seward 
came in and remained all night. 
Our front parlor was given up to 
Mrs. Lincoln and her friends. The 
back parlor — our bedroom — was 
occupied by Secretary Stanton. 
Judge Cartter held an informal 
court there, and it was full of people. 

" Mrs. Lincoln went in to see her 
husband occasionally. Robert Lin- 
coln was with her. Rev. Dr. Gur- 
ley was there, and made a prayer 
by the bedside of the President, 
and then in the parlor with Mrs. 
Lincoln. Mr. Lincoln was insensi- 
ble from the first, and there was no 
hope from the moment he was shot. 
As he lay on the bed, the only sign 
of life he exhibited was his breath- 
ing. About two o'clock he began to 
breathe harder and with more and 
more difficulty, until he died. A 
Cabinet meeting was then held in 
our back parlor, and, soon after, 
most of the people left. About two 
hours after he died, the President 
was carried up to the President's 

That was all, except that when 
Mrs. Lincoln left, her bonnet could 
not be found, and she had to bor- 
row one from Mrs. Francis. This 
mystery was subsequently ex- 
plained by the niece who received 
the above letter. She learned that 
"some enterprising young men 
who had rooms in the house" had 
seen the bonnet lying on a bed, 
"and reasoning among themselves 
that Mrs. Lincoln would have no 
further use for such a bonnet," had 
taken it off and cut it up for souve- 


>**P /%/ Z3-- 


Many Pictures Iliive Keen Mitde of It. 
Here la mi Authentic One. 

No census taker or student of figures 
ami statistics has undertaken to sum up 
the number of "deathbed scenes" of 
Lincoln. For awhile just after the un- 
happy event it seemed as if every artist 
in the laud was seized with a desire to 
make the picture, and they all tried 
their hands. Some of these are very 
amusing to a critical eye. There is one 
in which nearly every prominent man of 
that time is represented as being pres- 
ent. Only the doctor 6eems interested 
in the dying statesman. All the others 
are looking at the camera, each with an 








expression as if the picture man had 
said, "Now, gentlemen, look pleasant, 
please," as he dropped the cap from the 

This picture represents Mrs. Lincoln 
kneeling at the bedside. She was not 
present at the time of the death of her 
husband. She -was with hiin a few min- 
utes after lie was removed from the the- 
ater, but owing to his conditiou and her 
great grief, which she could not repress, 
she was taken away and did not see him 
again until after he was dead. The 
deathbed scene as given in this article is 
authentic. It is from a copy of the orig- 
inal in the Oldroyd collection. Its cor- 
rectness was made certain by statements 
from Mr. Welles and others who were in 
the room at the moment, and each in the 
position and place as represented in the 
cut. — Chicago Tribune. 

THE TRAGIC COINCIDENCE OF LINCOLN'S President was carried into Peterson's boarding 

ASSASSINATON — On the tragic night of April house at 516 Tenth street, diagonally across 

M iogc l a i i i ■ i i j from the theatre. The dying Lincoln was carried 

14, lbbb, when Abraham Lincoln was struck down . . -«X t i J tl . 

. into a convenient room with a long bed. 1 liut 

within the Ford Theatre, several coincidences bc< f on Wll ich Lincoln died the next morning had 

took place whose striking import was unmistak- previously been occupied by John Wilkes Booth, 

able. The strangest of thetn was that the dying y, the President's assassin. 

Mill ' Bill II SlililillllllllllUIIIIIIIIKiU, 

them was that the dying - the President s assassin. / I r ' ) 

» 'j^,igt ; J0)f^,«.j|.4 u ,,i*Bi«LJ£»,..i ../fgHptoji^M' nfrffl i M M I M iil H / •■ it j . i / 

Jl&l I°I7 

LINCOLN LORE tt / f% ~7 


J~J~ '■#}. t w - **, #" p * f*f y^" ' * / ' 


From the Lincoln National Life Foundation 
Denton Ceoghegan, from whom Thomas Lincoln had a contract for getting out lumber for a mill, listed for taxation 
twenty slaves in 1816. 

people of similar interest. This led to the formation of 
the Kentucky State Pomological and Horticultural So- 
ciety of which Haycraft was the Corresponding Secre- 
tary. At their first convention the members met in 
Elizabethtown on October 12 and 13, 1865. An 18 page 
pamphlet of the transactions of this first session has 
been preserved in the collection. 

Haycraft is best remembered for his A History of 
Elizabethtown, Kentucky And Its Surroundings, written 
in 1869. He is also well known to Lincoln students as a 
correspondent of Abraham Lincoln, having written to 
the future President six different letters and receiving 
in return five replies, all before Lincoln was inaugurated 
President of the United States. (See Lincoln Lore 1530, 
"Lincoln-Haycraft Correspondence" August 1965). 

In the preparation of his history, Haycraft carried on 
an extensive correspondence with those who might best 
remember the early historical events of Elizabethtown 
and Hardin County. A large file of such correspondence, 
containing biographical sketches of prominent residents, 
is today available for those students interested in this 
particular field of Kentucky history. Haycraft also 
corresponded with Richard H. Collins who wrote and 
compiled Collins' History of Kentucky, which was pub- 
lished in 1878. In a letter to Haycraft dated May 4, 
1872, Collins commented on A History of Elizabethtown, 
Kentucky as follows: "I have seldom read more interest- 
ing and entertaining matter any where ... I will of 
course, give you the credit for what I have condensed 
from your work — not 100th part in quantity of yours, 
but all that I can spare room for." 

While Haycraft's history is considered a valuable 
collateral work by most Lincoln collectors, his un- 
published notes also reveal some interesting information 
concerning the Fifteenth President James Buchanan. The 
Helm-Haycraft collection contains quite a number of 
pages and fragments of Haycraft's original hand- 
written manuscript along with his rough notes relative 
to Elizabethtown history. One such note follows: "Late 
President Buchanan about the year 1813 or 1814 came 
to Ky — coming down the Ohio in a flatboat with Major 
James Crutcher and Thomas S. Crutcher with their 

The Crutchers owned and operated a store in Eliza- 
bethtown and made frequent trips to Pennsylvania to 
purchase goods for this store. Young Buchanan came 
to Kentucky as a lawyer to protect his father's 
landed interests. Other statements by such historians 
as Little and Collins corroborate Haycraft in regard to 
Buchanan's residence in Elizabethtown. It is a most 
interesting fact that in the year 1813 or 1814 the future 
Fifteenth and Sixteenth Presidents of the United States 
resided in Hardin County within fifteen or twenty miles 
of each other. 

Because of the many facets of the Helm-Haycraft 
Collection a new catalogue is now in process. An effort 
is being made to catalogue the collection in depth with 
hundreds of guide cards to the many different types and 
forms of information in the collection. Due to the large 
number of papers which mention "Samuel Haycraft," 
considerable difficulty is sometimes encountered in de- 
ciding whether the name refers to Sr. (1752-1823) or Jr. 
(1795-1878). This is especially true of manuscripts 
bearing no date. Little difficulty is encountered in de- 
termining the signatures. In fact, quite a sizeable quan- 
tity of manuscripts bearing no date are found in the 
collection. These are to be catalogued alphabetically. 

The collection is large in bulk, interesting in content 
and awaiting students and historians who may some 
day find it a veritable mine of information. Up to date 
it has only been searched for Thomas Lincoln docu- 
ments (references) and those of his contemporaries, 
and the quest has been most rewarding. 

Editor's Note: An additional cut pertaining to the Helm-Haycraft 
Collection appears on page 4. — R.G.M. 

"Captain Robert Lincoln has sent the carriage 
for Mrs. Dixon." April 14, 1865 

Editor's Note: The editor is grateful to Miss Judith A. Schiff. Chief 
Reference Specialist, Manuscripts & Archives, Yale University 
Library, for bringing Mrs. Dixon's original letter to his attention. 

R. G. M. 

Historians have had little to say about Mrs. James 
Dixon who was present at Lincoln's deathbed at the 
Petersen house following the President's assassination 
at Ford's Theatre. She was the wife of Senator James 
Dixon (1814-1873) of Connecticut. Her maiden name was 
Elizabeth Lord Cogswell and her father was the Rev. Dr. 
Jonathan Cogswell, a professor in the Connecticut The- 
ological Institute. She married James Dixon in 1840. 

The Republican senator and his wife were unusually 
friendly to the Lincoln administration and even tsup- 
ported the administration of Andrew Johnson to the 
extent that he voted against the sufficiency of the arti- 
cles of impeachment and from that date he participated 
no longer in the councils of the Republican party. He 
retired from public life in 1869. 

However, the reason for Mrs. Dixon's presence at the 
Petersen house on April 14th, 1865 can be attributed to 
Robert T. Lincoln, who thoughout his mother's lifetime 
was most solicitous for her welfare. Undoubtedly, Lin- 
coln's eldest son believed Mrs. Dixon would be a comfort 
to his mother during the tragic event. Whether or not 
this was the case is unknown. However, every indica- 
tion is that she was a most sympathetic friend. 

Fortunately, a letter has come to light which provides 
some details concerning Mrs. Dixon's visit to the Peter- 
sen house. The letter written in Washington, D.C. on 
April 14, 1866 is addressed to Othniel C. Marsh by 


LINCOLN LORE jt- / 5^7 


— Bff— « -**-^^*»^-— 1 ■ ■> - 

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of Kobrrt T. \anmrtrr, H Hindu < •«•, «iid <*).lr*« Ur<.,. ,,, Bsaln-i John (or 
nnd oibfrx, prenonnrrJ il Juljlrrm, lM3f», I "lll.nnittr^ 

31st daj of December, 1859, 

At it., lair rryldrnrr or John «'•<•, <(<r<-n«-j, komIk ibr •rcnMnri »f Robert 
T. IxiDKlrr, nt the b>rk« »f iltlcr t rrck. la Hardin ItDnlj, I3 6r 18 mtlrtt 
lr« m EIImWHimwii, tII, to thr fUchr*l bidder, at patti< nwikon, 



« <m--l>i.ns of l-n o vattmblr 


tbr hiurr nndrr IO year* of age , 


Tbr mi Jr will be on ■ rrrilli «f < luhl tnoniht, ifir parruiinf-r lo jhf bund 
"»» lib upprcird arrarily, .0 bear talcrrmf from Ibr dnj oiwalr; to burr Ibr lorer 
and • 111 11 '>( a ri-ulc* In bond ml mnuu-ilr, and la or uiadr parable. 10 Ibr tin* 

siimii, llivimrr. Cam'r. 
Orlobrr loih, 1%.1«. 

Il.n. mi ilir omr iliif, n 11T) TalouMn 7oana llrffre num, un imsi- cralll 
and ut Ibr «amr place. H. IS. 

From the Lincoln National Life Foundation 

Hardin County, Kentucky, Commissioner's Sale of Valu- 
able Negroes dated December 31, 1859. This slave broad- 
side (11%" x 15%") is of unusual significance because 
it relates to slavery in the community where Lincoln was 
born, fifty years earlier, and Samuel Haycraft, Jr. who 
conducted the sale was a correspondent of Abraham 
Lincoln, having written to the future president six differ- 
ent letters and receiving in return five replies all before 
Lincoln was inaugurated President of the United States. 
(Lincoln Lore 1530, August, 1965 "Lincoln-Haycraft 
Correspondence) . 

Early Lincoln biographers have attempted to prove 
that slavery was a negligible factor in the community 
life of Hardin County when the Lincolns resided there. 
Available records indicate otherwise. In 1811 the tax 
list for Hardin County shows that there were then 1,007 
slaves listed for taxation. This same year, the white 
male population above sixteen years of age, was 1,627. 
This would indicate an average of at least two slaves for 
each family in the county. In 1813 one Hardin County 
resident alone listed fifty-eight Negroes in his possession. 

Elizabeth Dixon. The original letter is a part of the 
Othniel Charles Marsh papers of the Manuscript and 
Archives Department of the Yale University Library. 
An excerpt from the letter, dated April 14, 1866 from 
Washington, D.C., follows: 

". . . We were with her (Mrs. Sigourney) during her last illness 
and death. This day also recalls the murder of President Lincoln. I 
had been to Church that day (Good Friday) & went to the Hos- 
pital, remaining all day & until quite late, so that Bessie & Clemmie 
were ready to return with me. 

"We were all very tired & had retired at half past eight. I had 
fallen asleep & was awoke by a carriage dashing up to the door. I 
heard a man ask if Senator Dixon lived here & said he had a mes- 
sage from Captain Robert Lincoln for Mrs. Dixon. I knew Capt. 
Lincoln was in the army & immediately thought of Jamie & that 
he probably had some bad news for me. 

"I threw open the window & asked what the matter was. my heart 
standing still. The gentleman had been sent for me & he replied : 
'Captain Robert Lincoln has sent the carriage for Mrs. Dixon & 
wants her to come to his mother as quickly as possible — the 
President is dead.' 

"I thought he had died at the White House suddenly & said : 
'Certainly I will go, as soon as possible.' Mr. Dixon & Harry were 

in Hartford, Jamie in the Army & we had only a young friend of 
Jamie's staying here — to take care of us. Mr. Kinney fortunately 
had recently returned that morning from Richmond, so I sent for 
him & when I was ready I learned that the President had been 
murdered at the Theatre & we were to go to the house opposite 
where he had been taken. 

"So we proceeded there & I remained with Mrs. Lincoln all night, 
part of the time beside the murdered President & then we would 
persuade her to go out for a few moments. I went home with her 
to the White House. The next morning, a scene of desolation & 
honor truly. 

"I have forbidden artists from putting me into the picture repre- 
senting the death of the President. I was so haunted by it & so 
nervous, that I did not wish the association perpetuated & thought 
it would be very unpleasant to see such a picture advertised or on 
exhibition. The newspaper reporters have a way of putting every- 
thing into the papers & I told one of them that I would pay him if 
he ever saw our names goinfc into the paper, to keep them out." 

Mrs. Dixon stated in her letter that she had forbidden 
artists from putting her into pictures representing the 
death of the President. That statement was undoubtedly 
true in regard to published pictures in 1866, but she did 
appear in John B. Bachelder's engraving, which was 
begun in 1865, along with Mrs. Lincoln, Miss Harris, 
Mrs. Kinney and her daughter. Mary Cogswell Kinney 
was a sister of Mrs. Dixon, and her daughter Constance 
was of course Mrs. Dixon's niece. 

Bachelder made arrangements with Brady & Co. 
photographers to make pictures of all those present at 
the deathbed, shortly after the remains of the Presi- 
dent left the city. Apparently, Mrs. Dixon cooperated 
with the artist and posed in the position she occupied 
by the deathbed. 

Forty-seven people were depicted in the Bachelder 
engraving. Fortunately, a key was published which 
allows one to identify Mrs. Dixon with certainty. The 
engraving was executed by B. H. Hall, Jr., the eminent 
engraver upon steel. 

Next, the design was placed in the hands of Alonzo 
Chappel, an historical painter. His painting bears the 
date of 1868. In the key published by Bachelder Mrs. 
Dixon looks directly toward the dying President which 
conceals many of the features of her face. However, in 
the Chappel painting she looks in the direction of Robert 
T. Lincoln which reveals the important features of her 

A further indication of Mrs. Dixon's cooperation with 
Bachelder and Chappel was her willingness to sign a 
statement as follows: "We the undersigned visited the 
late President Lincoln at his bedside during his last 
hours. We have since sat for a likeness to be used ex- 
pressly in the composition of the Historical Painting of 
that event, designed by John B. Bachelder and painted 
by Alonzo Chappel." Mrs. Dixon's signature is written 
E. L. Dixon. 

Why Mrs. Dixon changed her mind about forbidding 
artists from putting her into a picture representing the 
death of the President, we will likely never know. 


From the Lincoln National Life Foundation 

A section of the Chappel painting "The Last Hours of 
Lincoln" depicting Mrs. Dixon seated at the left of the 
kneeling Mrs. Lincoln. 

Civil War T 


Editorial Ollices Box 1831, Harrisburg, Pa. 17105 
Phono (717) 234-5091 

S CiaadtK H "nryva^ (tS^OC^Cj 

May 19, 1977 

Mr. Victor D. Spark 

1000 Park Avenue 

New,. York, N. Y. 100 2 8 

Dear Mr. Spark: 

A million thanks for the photographs you so kindly sent. 
We were especially fascinated by the Burns painting of 
Lincoln's last moments since we had never seen this before. 
We were also intrigued by the painting mentioned in the 
xerox letter you also enclosed, "Two Confederate Guerillas." 
Would it be possible to obtain a print of this? It sounds 
like it might make a good cover at some point. 

We also appreciate your kind words; every day we are 
reminded anew of the remarkable generosity and concern of 
our subscribers. 



Charles F. Codhe' 
Managing Editor" 




NEW YORK. N. Y. 10028 

Area Code 212 



August 1, 1977 

Dr. Mark E. Neely, Jr. 


The Lincoln National Life Foundation 

Lincoln Library and Museum 

1301 South Harrison Street 

Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802 

Dear Dr. Neely, 

I would like to bring to your attention a painting 
of the Last Moments of Abraham Lincoln by J. Burns, 
signed and dated 1866 at the lower right. 

It is the only picture I have seen that shows Mrs. 
Lincoln's head on the bed over her dying husband. 
IN all the literature I have read she actually threw 
herself over her husband. 

The old nameplate that came with the picture bore 
the title. 

The price is $12,000. 

If the picture is of interest we would be glad to 
ship it to you on approval. 

Appreciating your kind advice, I remain 

Sincerely yours, 

Victor Spark 





August 26, 1977 

Director Telephone (219) 424-5421 

Mr. Victor Spark 
1000 Park Avenue 
New York, N. Y. 10028 

Dear Mr. Spark: 

I am afraid that $12,000 is out of our price range at the 
moment, though I certainly think that your painting vould be 
a desirable addition to our collections. I am enclosing a copy 
of one of our monthly bulletins which dealt with Lincoln deathbed 
scenes. The Altschvager print on page U also shows the widow in 
a similar position. 

I appreciate your offering us this painting, and I regret 
that we must turn it down. From time to time we do purchase such 
things, and we would appreciate being considered when other similar 
items come along. I am returning your photograph herewith. 

Yours truly, 

iit . Mark E. Neely, Jr. 




The Journal-Gazette 

February 8, 1985 

r bbfi 

£.i: ?%■ PZze^t- 

r f&3 f 

»!>< l T 


Photo shows Lincoln's death bed 


Statt Wnier 


mcn^aiis have been 
^ uncus about Abraham Lincoln's 
death since me day he died, Mark 
F. Neel) Jr said, glancing at the 
nijiicd photograph on his desk. 
\nd," he added, "they still are." 

Neely, director of the Louis A. 
Warren Lincoln Library and 
Museum, 1 300 S. Clinton St., said he 
gets as manv questions about 
Lincoln's death as about his life. 

For mat reason, the photograph 
on his desk should be of more than 
^asaal interest to museum visitors. 
\c M aired trom a private collector 
in December, the photo is of the 
room u here Lincoln died. It has 

New exhibit 

WHERE: Lincoln Library and 
\lu-i-um, Lincoln National 
I .:l Insurance t c>.. 1300 S. 
( !::;:o.n S; 

HOURS: 5 5 u : ::, to 4 30 p.m. 
M : c.l ; ■ ji, l hijrsday 
.-.'*. ? 3U u :r. :., 12 30 p.m. 

i V.C: . 

TELEPHONE: 427-3864 

become a part of one of the 
museum's collection of 
memorabilia, sure to be of interest 
to those who wish to take note of 
Lincoln's Feb. 12 birthday. 

The sepia-toned, 8-by-6 3 /4 inch 
photo is captioned: "View of the 
room in which President Lincoln 
died Saturday morning April 15, 
1865. at the residence of William 
Petersen. No. 453 10th Street, 
Washington D. C , opposite Ford's 
Theaii e. The room was occupied 
bv W illiam T. Clark of 

The sole existing print (as far 
as Neely knows), the photograph 
was recorded by Julius Like, a 
boarder at the Petersen House 
across the street from Ford's 
Theatre where Lincoln was shot by 
John Wilkes Booth. 

"He had the presence of mind," 
See LINCOLN, Page 9D 

Popular prints gave Lincoln's last moments a larger locale 


The Journal-Gazette 

February 8, 1985 


From Pag* 10. 

Neely said, "to go into the room 
after Lincoln's body was removed 
and set up his apparatus. Lincoln 
died at 7:22 a.m. You can see the 
morning light coming through the 
open door (of the room), so the 
photograph probably was taken 
about 9 or 9:30." 

Ulke, Neely said, took at least 
two photographs. "We know of 
two. He no doubt was going to try 
and sell them. That's what he had 
in mind, I'm sure. But he never did 

Offering one possible explanation 
for Ulke's failure to sell the photo- 
graphs, Neely said photos were 
taken of Lincoln lying in state in 
New York City. 

"But the War Department 
ordered those photos be destroyed 
because Mrs. Lincoln didn't want 
any photographs. It's sheer specula- 
tion, but Ulke probably figured 
from this he couldn't sell his 

What adds interest to Ulke's 
death room scene is it's stark con- 
trast to the lithographs which were 
artists' imaginative renderings of 
the deathbed scene. 

One such rendering, Neely said, 
shows about a dozen people gath- 
ered about the bed where Lincoln 
had been placed. Another depicts 46 

"The room was very small," 
Neely said, pointing to the Ulke 
photo. "It couldn't have accommo- 
dated that many people. But at the 
time, this was the way a great man 
was supposed to die. Like a medie- 
val knight, with his family, ser- 
vants, retainers. In Lincoln's case, 
prominent politicians, cabinet 
members, members of his family." 

While it may seem "really grim 
to us today — not very appetizing 
and generally distasteful, mourning 
practices were different then. It 
was common practice, for instance, 
to wear a locket with a lock of hair 
of a deceased loved one. 

"In the 19th century," Neely said. 

"death was great and sex was bad. 
In the 20th century, sex is great and 
we don't talk about death. Today, 
people die in hospitals behind a 
screen with no one present except 
perhaps a nurse and one or two 
family members. Death is a private, 
forbidden subject — taboo. No one 
wants to talk about it." 

The Ulke photograph, the direc- 
tor said, will be placed in the Lin- 
coln's death exhibit which includes 
a reward poster for the assassins 
and two popular prints of Lincoln's 
deathbed scene. 

Calling the Ulke photo a good 
acquisition, Neely said, "Any time 
you get a unique item in the Lincoln 
field, it's a good acquisition. Any 
time you can buy something that's 
the first, the last, the best or the 
only, it's a good acquisition."